This British Trick For Baked Potatoes Will Change Everything

Baked potatoes are one of those foods that should be totally foolproof. It's literally just sticking a potato in the oven and waiting the correct amount of time, right? Unfortunately for us, according to Bon Appétit, there are actually a ton of ways you can mess up baked potatoes, resulting in spuds that are dry and unevenly cooked. 

Over at The Kitchn, they discovered the best way to bake potatoes has been right in front of us all along (or to the east, more accurately). The outlet asserts the British have been quietly making perfect baked potatoes under the name "jacket potatoes" all this time. They sourced their favorite jacket potato recipe from Joanna Goddard, who, on her blog A Cup of Jo, shared that she learned how to make jacket potatoes from her aunt Janey, who lives in Cornwall, England.

The method you should be using for baked potatoes

The Kitchn praised Goddard's method as resulting in super crisp skins and ultra fluffy interiors, claiming the British version of the baked potato is far superior to more common American methods.

If you want to try making your own jacket potatoes, there are a few simple tips to ensure you get it right every time. Joanna Goddard's method calls for you to slice a cross shape into your potato before you put it in the oven, instead of pricking it with a fork as most other recipes suggest. And there's no rubbing the 'taters with olive oil, either. Goddard recommends cooking at 400 degrees Fahrenheit (200 degrees Celsius) directly on the oven rack for quite a long time — 2 hours, in fact. After that, pull it out of the oven, slice even deeper into the cross and bake for another 10 minutes before serving them with tons of butter, salt, and black pepper for an authentic British experience. This method promises that your potato skin will be "cracker-like," and that's a good thing.

Another method for making perfect jacket potatoes

The Guardian offers up a similar recipe, and says that the perfect jacket potato, after testing multiple chef's methods, all comes down to technique. They recommend baking at a slightly higher temperature than Goddard does (220 Celsius versus 200 Celsius), and pricking the potato instead of doing a full slice initially. The Guardian also suggests pre-salting your potato by rolling it in salt, while it is still slightly damp from cleaning, before you place it in the oven for extra crunchy skin. The publication does agree that cooking directly on the rack is better than using a sheet tray or other baking vessel for crispy bottoms.

No matter which method you use, it's sure to be the best baked potato you've ever had.